Why won't the phone ring?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by RedRed, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. RedRed

    RedRed LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 20

    Why can't I get my phone to ring for new customers? I have been owner/operator of a successful lawn mowing landscape business since 1992. I do this for fun more than anything else. I am a 36 yr old college educated individual with a fulltime job with an excellent company making excellent money. I left the landscape lawn mowing business three years ago to build my dreamhome. Now that everything at my home is the way I want it, I want to get back into the business. In early March I put out fliers all over my town of Lancaster, PA and have gotten a total of two calls which beared no fruit. The county I moved from had less per capita income than the one I'm in now which made me think it would be easy to at least pic up some side mowing but even that has had no activity. Has this market saturated with lawn mowing and landscapers so much that there is not that much work left? I'm glad I don't need the extra income because its just not happenin.

    Attached a pic of my toys which were parked behind my barn.

    IMG_1385.jpg
     
  2. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    I put an ad in the paper for 6 weeks in the spring. Got a few calls for every other week mowings and one time spring cleanups. I wanted full time accounts. I got NONE. I did 2 estimates for weekly mowing and did not get them. I wanted to hire a full time guy to help me out this year. Had a list of all the equipment I needed for the expansion. Even bought a leftover lazer anticipating the calls and the need for a second rider. As time ran on with the ad I started doing the estimates for the one timers. Still NOTHING. Most of the people I know who one a business say they are not getting the calls that they used to. Good friends of mine are a carpenter, slate roofer, landscaper, concrete guy, and one owns an excavation company. They all say they have 2 weeks of work and nothing after that. 2 or 3 calls per week each. Everybody is slower this year. I think that to many people are hearing about all the bad things that are going on around the world and are a little hesitant to spend more money than they need to at this time.
     
  3. Lawn_Boy

    Lawn_Boy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    My advice would be to keep spreading those flyers. Try to land 3-4 and then maybe neighbors of those yards make take interest in your services. Either way, keep speading and don't give up.

    Also, you could try the walk up to their door/house and introduce yourself method.
     
  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,800

    I lost 8 accounts this year they bought their own mowers and are trying to do it themselves where abouts in MA are you...?
     
  5. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    First rule in business Uranus...NEVER buy it if it is not needed. :nono: You may have got a deal on that lazer, but how good of a deal is it if your not getting any more income from its purchase? ;) :confused: I beleive it's all about your individual markets. We have expanded 30% this year...with no advertising other than a new website (finally after 10 years!) REFERRALS, REFERRALS, REFERRALS!!! Anyways, here's my point. HANG IN THERE!!! Don't get ticked off if there is a slump in business. Everything eventually rebounds, just don't buy if it isn't needed.
     
  6. Grass Kickin

    Grass Kickin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    I think most of us have ex[erienced some hard times because of the gas crunch. I've lost a couple of customers who want to mow their own. It is part of the business. Eventually you will make it up. I was thinking about offering a discount to my existing customers for referring new accounts. I get most of my business word of mouth anyway so it might help revamp things.
     
  7. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,985

  8. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    I would say it is your advertisements. I went from 15 accounts (after about 4-5 cancel from last year because of moving, want to do it their selves) at the beginning of this year to 40 weeklies and several one timers. Post your advertisement here.
     
  9. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,667

    I want my phone to stop ringing. This is the 2nd month in a row that my cell bill has been $150 :(

    and now I have to put out window flyers :(
     
  10. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Posts: 213

    The only advertising I've done so far this year is handing out business cards, ordered some green t-shirts with my phrase and company name on them (and have handed out dozens and dozens) and I just recently bought a few 12"x18" yard signs. This year alone I've picked up about 25-30 customers, and that was before all of the above was out there for people to see. Most new customers I've gained this year were by word-of-mouth. Be patient and do not give up. Keep getting your name out there and just because spring is over and summer is here, does not mean you still can not pick up more customers. It's about to get real hot (depending on where you live) and people who mow their own yards will suddenly realize how convenient it is to have someone else mow it. And there's you, waiting. Plus, summertime is vacation time and even if you pick up a one-time customer, you do a good job and your name WILL be passed along to their friends. And since you aren't as busy, I sure wouldn't turn down any one-timers. Good luck and keep your head up.
     

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